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Ford Tractors Discussion Forum
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4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder

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Author  [Modern View]

08-10-2014 14:56:04

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I have seen some pretty good prices lately on gas 2000 series Fords. I know the early 2000 was a 4 cylinder and the later a 3 cylinder. If tractor data is correct (sometimes it's not) I see that the later ones may weigh at least 700 lbs more. Not sure I need the weight if not plowing...but are there big improvements on the later 2000 series tractors? And in the 3 cylinder versions I see some hood shape differences. Are they just cosmetics? I might watch for a super deal on a live PTO P/S version. Would be my first venture into the blue.

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08-12-2014 05:26:38

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
WOW there is a lot of good information available through this forum!

I really appreciate the guidance. Now to watch for a bargain!

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Mac AR

08-11-2014 17:58:50

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
Yes Rick, I'll agree with you. What I should've said was the 504. I had the old 560 on my mind I guess :D Dad was IH to the bone. I, however, am die-hard blue man. And I didn't actually figure on anybody jumping on me too awful hard. ;)


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08-11-2014 07:16:34

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I think if I was going to buy I would look for a 4100, 4610su, 4000su. these should not be much more money and both are much more tractors.

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08-10-2014 19:55:43

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
I've been using my '68 2000 for haying about eight years pulling a JD 1207 mo-co. It's a load but the tractor handles it pretty well. 6 speed std PTO and I can mow in third but it works hord on the hills. My fields are crowned so I'm always going downhill then turning uphill at the corners, and the front end just skids out over the cut hay.

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Sean in PA

08-10-2014 19:25:26

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
No, the twin sticks do not guarantee live PTO. You need the model number to determine what PTO option it has.

I believe the 4 speed was only offered for the first few years on the 3 cylinders, so after a certain point in time the lowest price model was a 2000 with a 6 speed and trans PTO.

Generally, the 3 cylinder 2000 was the lowest price point, so more of them were sold with trans PTO, but there are some out there with live PTO.
Anyone who could afford to spend extra usually went for the 3000 AND the live PTO.

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08-10-2014 18:48:59

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
Do the twin shift sticks also guarantee live PTO, or do I need the model number to confirm? Seems odd to me most sellers don't mention the PTO.

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08-10-2014 18:01:11

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
While I truly like my NAA/600/800 tractors,

and I will own my 4cyl RC NF 4000 til I leave this Earth....

they can't compare at all to my gas Blue one.

UD and Sean listed some improvements....those factory engineer/farmerizers never quit modifying stuff. :D .

The dual-range 8-speed with both levers right in front of you

seals the deal. First gear, low range, and you are crawling.

ALL tractors ever made should have had something similar.

(most modern tractors do, in some form)

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Sean in PA

08-10-2014 17:05:07

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
There were improvements, but it's hard to say how "big" they were. The 3 cylinder, besides being a little heavier, also had a more powerful hydraulic system for the 3 point lift, 2500 psi on the 3 cylinder vs. 2000 psi on the 4 cylinders, so it could lift a bit more weight.

The 4 cylinder 2000 models had 3 transmission options, a 4 speed which always had trans driven PTO, a 5 speed which always had live PTO and the 10 speed (Select-O-Speed or S-O-S) which had independent PTO. The 4 and 5 speeds were both too fast, even in first gear, for roto-tiller or snow blower type work. The S-O-S was best for any work that needed constant PTO speed at slower wheel speeds.

The 3 cylinder had 4 transmission options, the same basic 4 speed as the 4 cylinder had with trans driven PTO only, a 6 speed and an 8 speed manual which could both be had with trans or live PTO, and the 10 speed S-O-S which again had independent PTO. The 6 and 8 speed manual transmissions had slower first gears than the 4 or 5 speed on the 4 cylinder so they were more suitable for low speed PTO work, but they had more gears overall so they still had higher speeds available.

So it really depends on what options each specific tractor has and what you need to use it for. If I was looking at a 4 cylinder with a 5 speed vs. a 3 cylinder with a 4 speed, I would go with the 4 cylinder and the 5 speed to get the live PTO. Most folks would probably argue as to which specific set of transmission and PTO options is the "best", but most would probably choose the 3 cylinder, with either the 8 speed and live PTO or the S-O-S and independent PTO. While some would argue that the "best" 2000 was really a 3000 since they are basically the same tractor as the 3 cylinder 2000 with the 3000 tweaked for a few more hp.

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Ultradog MN

08-10-2014 16:46:46

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Beanmedic, 08-10-2014 14:56:04  
I know a lot of guys here are very fond of their 'Priors' and I know you can't make one thing better by trying to make something else look bad (though politicians do that all the time)
That said, The 65 and newer 3 cylinder Fords were a ground up, whole new platform.
Ford took everything they had learned from 1939 onward and applied it to the new models.
They made an outstanding machine.
More reliability, more longevity, more transmission options, heavier duty and in my opinion, they are easier to work on than the 4 cylinder models.
Every generation of Ford was better than the last - 9N,8N,NAA,Hundreds (55-64) and Thousands.
And you are more likely to get the better options with a 3 cylinder - LPTO, PS, diff lock, etc.
Never, ever trust the tach on a 65-75 unless you actually see the hour meter turn over with your eyes. And if you buy a gasser, points are a PIA to install.
Neutral safety switch was lame on them.
And parts will be more expensive than a prior.
Don't forget that a 2000 and 3000 are almost identical machines so keep an open mind on that.
Lastly, the Ns were handsome little tractors but Ford never again built a decent looking tractor.
So don't buy one for looks.
Oh, and as for color, Ford probably built more Blue trctors than all other colors combined.
So the 'correct' color for a Ford is Empire Blue.
Now you fellows who love your priors, if you jump on me here I'll play politician on you and just agree with every thing you say.
Then I'll go back to thinking what I think :)

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Mac AR

08-10-2014 20:11:03

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Ultradog MN, 08-10-2014 16:46:46  
I'm a prior man myself. Mines a 2000 gasser, 63 model. Love that old gal, hateful witch that she can be. That said, we had a 69 4000 that we used for ages, and I liked it well enough. LPTO, Power steering, 8 speed. Good tractor, but like UD said, royal pain to put points in, and compared to the 560 Farmall, a gutless wonder. SOB never had enough power to suit me. Now that I don't cover as many acres, my 2000 prior suits me to a T. Ok, all you late model guys, go ahead and jump on me, I can take it. ;)

This post was edited by Mac AR at 20:13:18 08/10/14.

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08-11-2014 16:48:53

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 Re: 4 cylinder vs 3 cylinder in reply to Mac AR, 08-10-2014 20:11:03  
I"m not going to jump on you, but comparing a 4000 to a 560 is kind of an apple core to orange slice deal. I bought a 71 4000 gasser about 10 years ago after getting tired of trying to find a decent diesel. Best day of that tractor"s life was when I removed the gas engine and installed a 1981 201D.

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